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Aramid Capital Partners backs fund targeting German independent films

Aramid Capital Partners has announced the launch of what it says is the first fund dedicated to marketing independent films in Germany, which will be headed by PA CO director and distribution veteran Manfred Wenzel.

Wenzel previously held senior positions at Kinowelt, VCL Film and Medien, where he was involved with blockbusters including Dances with Wolves, Terminator 2, The English Patient and Gosford Park.

The fund, backed by Aramid Entertainment and advised by Future Capital Partners, will provide the print and advertising finance needed by independent film distributors to market new film releases. P&A costs such as dubbing, print replication and media advertisement have reduced the number of independent films released in Germany in the last few years.

The fund, initially targeting German independent distributors, has already been approached by independent producers, TV operators and major studios that want to use the vehicle. PA CO specialises in P&A financing in Germany, which characteristically provides the last of the funding for a film and is the first to see returns.

PA CO, Aramid Entertainment and Future Capital Partners says they plan to double or triple the size of the fund, which will start with EUR10m, after six months of operation.

'This fund is exactly the kind of project that Aramid seeks to support,' says chief executive Simon Fawcett. 'There is a distinct lack of funding for German independent film distributors, who need capital to market their films and make the releases successful. This fund will provide the necessary niche financing required.'

Aramid Capital Partners manages two entertainment funds specialising in providing finance to the film and television industries. Aramid I provides bridge, mezzanine and tax credit financing to independent filmmakers, TV producers and distributors, secured against assets including tax credits, revenue participation rights, distribution rights, underlying copyright, sales contracts and other receivables.

Launched last month, Aramid II is focusing on providing short- to medium-term liquidity in the form of senior and mezzanine financing loans to producers, distributors and libraries of film, TV and music as well other digital content such as video games.

Aramid Capital Partners is backed by Future Capital Partners, Screen Capital International and Stonehenge Capital, which between them have executed USD10bn in film financing over the past decade. Its management is headed by Fawcett, who has more than 14 years experience in TV and film financing, along with Future Capital founder Tim Levy, Screen Capital founder David Molner and Stonehenge Capital president Thomas Adamek.

Future Capital Partners has originated and placed more than GBP5bn in transactions over the past seven years, arranging structured finance funding for Walt Disney, GE Universal, Miramax, AOL Time Warner, Weinstein Company and other film production and distribution companies.

The London-based firm also provides structured finance offerings for other emerging and complex asset classes for which mainstream funding is not readily available, including property, transport, renewable energy and life sciences.

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